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California workers comp changes proposed

Posted On: Jun. 29, 2015 12:00 AM CST

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California proposes a new experience rating formula and other changes in its 2016 regulatory filing to the state’s insurance department.

In the filing, submitted Friday, the Oakland, California-based bureau recommends changes to the regulations governing the state’s workers comp experience rating system, which is “a merit rating system intended to provide” more than 110,000 employers “a direct financial incentive to reduce work-related accidents,” according to its website.

While employer eligibility is currently based on pure premium rates, the filing states that using expected loss rates would help with “clarity and consistency.”

If approved by the California insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, many of the proposed changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Another proposal, to take effect in 2017, would change the fixed $7,000 split point to a variable split point that reflects the size of the employer, the filing states.

“A variable split point enhances the accuracy of the experience rating formula, especially for smaller employers, reduces volatility and provides flexibility for simplifying the experience rating formula in future years,” the WCIRB said Friday in a statement.

Also included in the filing is a proposal to increase the minimum payroll for several industries, including taxicab operations and carpentry, to reflect inflation.